With New World's max gear score now 700 I keep ending up with a peculiar gear score on gear... and I don't dare salvage these items. They stay safe and sound in my storage.
It's that time of year again where we share what we bought over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shop-a-thon. For me I nabbed a few gamer things!
First up was what my teenager has been waiting for: his own gaming PC. We ordered all the parts which will make up his holiday haul. He is also getting some hand-me-downs from my recent upgrade (GPU and PSU). We went with an AMD build again; Ryzen 7600X CPU, 5700 XT GPU (hand me down), 2 TB NVMe SSD, and 32 GB memory. I'd say I got great deals but it was pretty lackluster as far as deals go this year.Model I wired mouse. I have a Model O wired currently and it sold me on the lightweight mouse. The only downside of the Model O for me is that it has only two side buttons. The Model I brings three side buttons and a fourth "sniper" button (defaults to lower DPI for sniping in FPS games). It will take a bit to retrain myself to the four buttons but so far so good and it keeps the same lightweight feel!
I was nostalgic for some holiday season tunes ringing through the halls (home office) so am finally filling the "no speakers" gap for my home PC. I grabbed this soundbar to fill the role.
Lastly I surfed the board game sales and like PC parts... it felt like a down year as far as deals go. I did end up grabbing the Arkham Horror The Card Game Revised Core Set which was at an all time low. This was on my "want to try" list and now that I have a teenager in the family it felt like the right time to adult our co-op games. Looking forward to giving this a whirl.
First, some context. I have played Firestaff/Sword and Shield in Heavy armor since New World launched over two years ago. I am well known on Castle of Steel as "that guy that runs heavy flamethrower" and having played many arena matches against Nyce Gaming himself I can't help feel I shaped his opinion somewhat.
The first area that Nyce touches on is how flamethrower is "one button" press and how the player doesn't run out of mana and with the right haste abilities can scoot around with the flamethrower without getting hit (note: he shows this in PvE). This is a fair assessment of the ability but I'd ask what is different with this than infinite left click melee light attacks? Light attacks require no resource management, are area of effect (AoE) damage, and can hit much harder than flamethrower. Many light attack chains also apply various debuffs and DoT (damage over time) effects.
If you consider PvE for a moment where melee is king because of the cleave AoE most ranged weapons suffer a good bit comparatively (which is why AGS made it so ranged weapons do more damage in PvE). Again no melee user is spending a resource such as "mana" to do their damage so it is a mute point that flamethrower can be used "without losing mana". Mana is dumb in the first place in New World if melee has no equivalent such as having to use their stamina to attack. Also the "kiting" shown in the video is doable by any ranged weapon; nothing unique to flamethrower here.
If you consider PvP a lot of the same points as PvE are relevant. Again melee is out there never even having to think about managing a resource to be able to attack. Players also stagger and stun a lot more in PvP than you experience in PvE; each of which stops flamethrower. Also popular in PvP currently is Alacritous Punishment which is +20% damage to players with haste so having haste + flamethrower going can open you up. Flamethrower also slows the player down, even with haste, which is problematic in PvP and allows players to get away.
The only real point made at the start here is flamethrower is one button press vs other parts of the game require more button presses/clicks. The argument about mana is mute until such time melee also has a resource pool to worry about.
Next Nyce talks about "they can whip it right back out" which refers to the flamethrower upgraded ability where it can be used without a cooldown compared to most abilities that have a cooldown after being used. Having no cooldown flamethrower requires multiple investment points in the tree which means there is opportunity cost going this route as the player cannot invest elsewhere. There was also a 2.5s cooldown added if the player is interrupted using flamethrower.
Further into the video Nyce starts talking about the Firestaff artifact Inferno. In the current version of the live game this changes damage to strike (instead of fire), damage scaling off STR, +damage to targets within 8m, and has the incinerate perk locked. In the version on PTR (assumed for next patch) the strike damage is replaced by fire damage and the incinerate perk is gone.
|Inferno Live vs PTR (as of 11/27/2023)|
Nyce posits that this change will mean Inferno becomes the defacto best firestaff and will encourage flamethrower use. I think this is a fair argument; the changes to inferno look very strong. I'd argue though it is not just about flamethrower... it will be good for any firestaff player. And more worrying than flamethrower will be firestaff/blunderbuss combo as that combo is almost always done right into the face of the opponent.
So I'll jump on the bandwagon with Nyce that the PTR Inferno is too strong but will argue it's less about flamethrower and more about other builds such as the blunderbuss combo that is already top dog in PvP. The only real downside of Inferno is it can't slot a gem (gem slot is not allowed to be added).
Personally I don't like when artifacts offer straight up mathematically better versions of the weapon the way Inferno is doing on the PTR. I much prefer artifacts that are designed for the player to lean into the uniqueness of the artifact. Original Inferno with Empowering Incinerate did exactly that. The only issue with original Inferno was the conversion to strike damage vs staying as fire damage; that completely gimped the damage. I think keeping Empowering Incinerate on the weapon would help offset the change back to fire damage and fit better thematically.
If Inferno goes into live as it is on PTR it will be my goal to snag one as soon as possible. My prediction as well will be firestaff/bludnerbuss will be that much more of a problem than it is currently. This basically is giving that combo close to guaranteed max empower cap (+50%) on the firestaff portion of the wombo combo. If you think it hits hard now wait until it hits even harder.
Over all I think the constant cries to "nerf flamethrower" are less about it being too strong (Nyce says as much in the video that flamethrower is not too strong) and more about folks perception of how "easy" flamethrower is compared to whatever thing they are playing as. If flamethower gets changed in some meaningful way there will just be whatever is next on the list for these folks that is "too easy" compared to whatever left click spam they are playing.
Again, I've played with firestaff since day one. I played it from when it was nerfed into worthlessness all the way until now where it is in a pretty good spot for my build. I do see where over all firestaff is probably too strong (especially the combo with blunderbuss) and that is the larger concern in my book for the PTR version of Inferno. The issue is not flamethrower; it is just the fact that firestaff + INT attribute bonuses make it some of the best damage in the game. Flamethrower itself is in a good spot. The damage feels balanced and the interrupt has done a lot to get away from the "whip it back out" of the past. You also don't see many light firestaff players using flamethrower because it does open you up to big hits which is why you are seeing more of my style of flamethrowing: in heavy!
First we need to note that the gear score (GS) max rose from 625 to 700 so 700 is the top end of progression. Then we can look at the current buckets of progression.
As you can see most all content drops up to 700 GS which seems great until you consider the "up to" part and compare to the ability to "upgrade" named items. Named item upgrades also allow a third perk to be selected giving more variety. Getting that awesome 699 GS drop is fleeting as most players likely are going to slot in a 700 GS kiln-upgraded named item.
Now look at that pile of other 690+ GS legendary items that just came out of that mutation run or PvP reward cache... and it's all worthless. No one is buying it on the market (not that much of it can be sold since its mostly bind on pickup) and you aren't going to use any of it except as a temporary stop gap in some builds. We are right back where we were with past New World: most legendary item drops are nothing more than something you salvage.
I think a lot more items could have been made useful and a more natural progression curve experienced through a few simple tweaks I've noted below.
The big change: remove named item upgrades in the gypsum kiln. Instead use the same recipe and materials to allow a player to change the 3rd perk on a named item but keep the same GS level.
Next change the GS reward range of each type of content.
Expeditions should have been 625-660 for regular, 660-680 for M1, 680-695 for M2, and 690-700 for M3 (artifacts can drop at any mutation level still).
PvP tracks reward up to 700 GS but higher GS chance the higher the track level you are. Artifacts drop as they do today on the tracks.
Crafting can mostly remain as it is, but I'd dial back recipes like shard of pride and chromatic seal allowing a 700 GS craft. Instead have it be in the 680+ range. Leave the 700 GS perfect crafts for the perfect recipe. It's too easy to spend a fraction of the time, effort, and materials using the other crafting methods to get 700 GS crafts.
With these changes, suddenly all of those 650+ GS drops become very interesting. You may use a 681 GS weapon for a week in M2s until you get a 690 to drop. You would likely take that 675 PvP reward track option because there isn't easy to mint 700 GS options. If you do mutations you are slowly working up the GS reward levels. So many more items become useful.
Instead what we got was a system where on day 1 of expansion launch I logged in, farmed up a named fire staff, and immediately upgraded it to 700 GS, meaning 99.9% of all drops for my main build's weapon were going to be worthless to me. Excepting the daily cooldown and 5k gold cost; chromatic seal upgrades of named items is the "cheat" of end game progression.
Don't get me wrong: I don't mind folks being able to get into end game gear quickly but like the other day where I completed multiple M2 expeditions (the 2nd hardest content in the end game) and I am staring at a pile of 25+ legendary items that I will never use, never sell, and in turn will just scrap. The simple change of the kiln upgrades not skipping to 700 GS would make many of those 25+ legendary drops possible useful drops.
Again, I want to emphasize that I like where the game is at with progression. It is easier and faster than ever before to get into new end game builds. However, it is not much of "progression" system... it is very much "skip to the end" just like the last system with waiting to upgrade from 600 to 625 via umbrals... just now its dark matter and named items.
Jumped into a corrupted invasion last night in New World. This game mode makes for some epic screenshots. We were shorthanded and didn't fill out the roster so lost the invasion in the end but it was fun. Invasions are also a great source for dark matter; even with a loss I netted 40!
|Foreground: 2 brutes and a bear on Gate A!!!|
Background: Giant laser eyes on another gate!!!
Bonus screenshot sitting in my mess of a house (poorly decorated by me) in Ebonscale Reach.
Players who have yet to experience Aeternum can pick up New World for up to 60% off during the Steam Autumn Sale now through November 28. The Standard, Deluxe and Azoth Editions will be 60% off. Those interested in both the base game and the Rise of the Angry Earth expansion can pick up the Elysian Edition bundle for 34% off. Rise of the Angry includes mounts, a transformed zone, the Flail, and additional endgame content.Pick a copy up on Steam or via Amazon.
Time off from work today and I hit up the Ennead expedition in New World. Here are a couple screenshots.
|Azoth staves goes bzzzzttttt!|
|Victory and a giant pile o' gold!|
And a bonus from earlier in the week on a run through Starstone Barrows!
|I am sure there is an important lore reason for this shattered obelisk thingy.|
The question was posed on the New World subreddit: Why do you play New world over other mmos?
There were a lot of great answers in the thread, but wanted to weigh in on my top reasons for New World. As background I never intended to play New World. I happened into one of the early New World preview events while playing the Crowfall beta. My normal road to an MMORPG involves following it for years through development and betas before I jump in. To say I was pleasantly surprised by New World is an understatement; one backed up by my almost 4,000 hours of play time!
So what keeps me in New World (which is likely now my most played game ever)?
First is the combat system. I never fancied myself for action combat (getting old with slower reflexes), but after playing New World's combat I really can't see myself going back to tab targeting. I tried Final Fantasy 14 for a brief period and while I conceptually like the global cooldown slower combat model it just ended up boring me.
Not only is the combat system action based but it also does NOT do the typical MMORPG thing with five hotbars and fifty choices at any given time. Players have two weapons and only three abilities per weapon. Then there are four consumable slots (and next patch you can no longer use consumables from inventory in combat). Add in the light/heavy attacks from left click, dodging, and that is a max of ten possible actions to take. That is the sweet spot.
The combat is also based on the gear you have equipped. No classes. If you want to tank; put on heavy armor and grab a shield. If you want to use a Firestaff and a Musket; go ahead. There is a ton of opportunity to carve out the way you want to play with the weapons and armor you want to. Not everything works great but it does work and my favorite builds prove that point. I run heavy armor Firestaff/Sword and Shield and do everything from PvP to DPS and tanking in PvE expeditions.
The second big thing I love about New World are the graphics and audio. The game looks and sounds amazing. It is hard to go back to other games or even look at newer games that are nowhere near the visuals of New World. The sound and visuals of chopping down a giant tree in New World are unmatched!
Then the third, and biggest attraction, for me is that I have the same opportunity as any other player to make it to the end game progression without having to be a hardcore-focused player. Don't get me wrong; I play the game a lot so I am not casual in that aspect, but I am also not a tryhard trying to cut a minute off an M3 completion time or have my VoDs reviewed so I can make a war roster. I can play the game the way I want and make progress and end up in the same end game spot as any other player.
I find New World to be rewarding to how I play MMOs and that is the top reason I stick around.
New World's dev team recently released an edition of Forged in Aeternum talking about the game's economy. Anyone that knows me knows that online game economies are my jam!
I missed commenting on this video when it was fresh but something in the patch notes yesterday brought it forward in my mind.
Temporarily adjusted the drop amounts for Mythril Ore veins until we can place more in the world.
This is... odd. Even odder when you consider the economy video where they talk about how they closely watch and monitor raw materials to see what may be too abundant and what may be too scarce. They talk in the video about changing crafting recipes to consume more materials or giving new uses to things like Wooden Coins.
Anyone looking at the current state of Mythril Ore knows Mythril Ore is not the problem. The problem is Orichalcum Ore which is the bottleneck. My own storage tells that tale. I have thousands of Mythril Ore and I've never once gone out to farm it so this is just from passing by a node and getting it. I can't refine that ore because I can't get Orichalcum Ore and I'm not paying the market price for it.
To illustrate those prices further (thanks to New World Market Prices)
As you can see Orichalcum Ore sticks out like a sore thumb. Higher cost of "ori" shows its a clear bottleneck. As ori ingots are required to make mythril ingots and thus a lower supply of ori means more expensive mythril ingot costs so less refining and thus mythril ore is becoming worth less and less.
And... the answer is to make more mythril ore available? What the heck. This single example trumps the content of the video. The ores are the center piece of New World's economy just as "metals" are the center piece of most fantasy RPG crafting systems. It really bugs me that they are increasing mythril, which is not hard to get currently, while ori still remains way too rare. Ori should increase first before messing with mythril.
Ah!!!! But that is economics sometimes and if books like Freakonomics has taught me anything it is that sometimes its not always obvious why something has/does not have an effect. So maybe, just maybe, increasing mythril will do something we are not expecting.
New World posted the patch notes for the upcoming PTR for the Eternal Frost update. There were some unexpected changes buried within the notes. Some which I don't think anyone was asking for!
The biggest area of "no one asked for this" is a nerf to 3v3 PvP arenas and the rewards they grant. Effectively nerfing rewards by 40%. I will let the developers own notes speak for the change:
We originally wanted 3v3 Arenas to be a more challenging space with additional value for the winning players, so we greatly improved the PvP XP and Salts given by the mode in the expansion update. It was a successful change in that sense, but now our other PvP game modes are suffering. We're reducing 3v3 Arenas so they don't overshadow other modes as much. As a result, Outpost Rush and War will grant greater rewards.
The maximum reward given by 3v3 Arenas has been reduced to 1200 XP and 500 Salts. The other contribution tiers have also been updated in a similar fashion.
That is down from 2500 XP. So instead of 4 wins unlocking a PvP track it will now take 8 wins; even more if you are not a winner like me. That sort of sucks; both for the future but also anyone that hasn't gotten to enjoy the current reward structure. This will make unlocking the PvP artifacts that much longer of a process compared to folks like me who have them all done already.
The good news (I guess) is that other PvP game modes such as Outpost Rush (OPR) and influence races are being buffed to give more rewards. This was definitely a change needed as the time investment in those events did not match how long they took to complete, but at the cost of arena rewards it feels cheapened.
On to other changes no one asked for...
Increased maximum non-sprint move speed to 4.0 m/s.
We just got mounts and now.... NOW.... we're increasing base move speed? I'll take it but really?
Fixed an issue that prevented all of the Elk related creatures from being skinned.
The irony in this one is everyone assumed that elk could not be skinned unless you owned the territory; sort of like the "king's woods" concept where only the king can harvest the male animals. Guess it was just a bug!
Removed the consumable heal mod PvP adjustment. Consumables now heal at normal amounts in PvP.
In Season 3 potion heals were reduced in effectiveness in PvP. Now they are being moved back to normal. Ping meet pong. I personally enjoyed less potion healing in PvP. Fights felt a lot better. My main fear is this makes healers that much harder to kill since they can self heal + pot at 100% effectiveness again.
Updated the Ankh Artifact heal mod to also decrease lifesteal healing (gives bigger trade off and creates additional differences between it and the Blooddrinker ring).
Blooddrinker Artifact - Added a 5% bonus to all lifesteal healing while active.
This one actually makes sense. I personally was using Ankh with leaching/lifesteal because... well... I get all the 25% bonus heal with none of the downside of Blooddrinker. Now Ankh will mostly be for group play (which I think is what it always should have been) and Blooddrinker actually has a purpose and increased effectiveness to go with it! Nerf buffs are the best!
I doubt I am getting a refund for the time and effort + materials I dumped into upgrading Ankh though...
Tons of changes to gems... which are fine but not sure anyone was out there asking for them. One pretty big nerf though:
Gambit (Opal) - By far the most used Gem. Reduced damage values from a range of 6% to 15% to a range of 4% to 12% while stamina is not full.
And another one that makes sense. You almost always used opal because it was just mathematically better as it was active more of the time. Now other gems have higher % damage compared to opal and thus makes sense to try other ones out. Still think even 12% is high for opal; should be more like 8% since it is easily active 2x more often than ones that do 16% damage.
Updated the Life Staff Sacred ground upgrade "Anointed" heal mod to not affect consumables or lifesteal healing.
Updated the Life staff Sacred Protection passive to not affect consumables or lifesteal healing and buffed its value from 5% to 10%.
The life staff/healing nerfs we all wanted! Yes! This actually is a good change. It was comical being able to stand in a sacred ground circle and basically be unkillable.
Ouch. The November New World developer update was brutal. Most of the final road map for 2023 has been cut and/or delayed. Coming off the expansion, which was rightfully criticized for lacking in content, a lot of players expected a full course from the Season 4 road map. Instead only a couple of items are going to make it. Check out the cuts below.
One of my real life hobbies is gardening and it's that time of year for Seed Catalogs! So I am here to shill for Johnny's Selected Seeds and their new digital catalog! Believe it or not this is not a paid promotion; just sharing it as it came across my inbox and I was out of time and ideas for a blog post today.
Work is a bit crazy and my leisure time has been spent playing New World so blogging has suffered as a result. I wanted to mention a few things.
New World's dev team released a new edition of Forged in Aeternum talking about the game's economy. Anyone that knows me knows that game economies are my jam so I do want to try and find time to make some comments.
Throne and Liberty released a video ahead of their December launch in Korea. Lots of information about the game and video looks good as T&L videos always seem to. I am hoping they've made some progress from the previous iterations that basically crash landed in the western MMO market killing any and all buzz about the game.
Ashes of Creation also released their long awaited "caravan" demo. Surely this is the update where it all comes together? Right? The game is shaping up but I still walked away unimpressed so want to drop some more comments about it.
NaNoWriMo also kicked off and as it's 11/2 and I haven't started I will just have to pass again for this year. Oh well!